There seems to be an awful lot of misconceptions and misinformation regarding the current Corona-virus pandemic. This is my humble attempt to compile a timeline which I feel is extremely important to understand how things unfolded. I also hope that this will help combat the ”alternative facts” that are floating around on social media.
For a more complete timeline, See Wikipedia.
Li Wenliang, 34, an opthamologist working at Wuhan Central Hospital in December when he saw test results that showed that seven patients from a local market had been diagnosed with an unknown illness that looked a lot like SARS, the virus that killed 774 people across Asia in 2003. He posted a private message on WeChat. The message went viral, something that did not go down well at all with the local authorities in Wuhan.
The Taiwanese authorities send a question to the WHO, citing press reports.
This email has subsequently been misrepresented as a warning.
The Wuhan Municipal Health Committee informed WHO of 27 ”cases of pneumonia of unknown etiology (unknown cause) detected in Wuhan”.
U.S. intelligence agencies were sounding alarm to the serious threat of the coronavirus in January and February.
WHO Tweeted preliminary info from the Chinese authorities:
Note the wording. On the same date Maria Van Kerkhove, acting head of WHO’s emerging diseases unit said that there had been limited human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus, mainly small clusters in families, adding that ”it is very clear right now that we have no sustained human-to-human transmission”
Reuters reported this:
Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, acting head of WHO’s emerging diseases unit, told a Geneva news briefing that the agency had given guidance to hospitals worldwide about infection control in case of spread, including by a “super-spreading” event in a health care setting. “This is something on our radar, it is possible, we need to prepare ourselves,” she said.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar reportedly couldn’t speak to Trump about the virus until a Jan. 18 call. During the conversation, Trump reportedly interrupted Azar to ask about vaping. “Donald Trump may not have been expecting this, but a lot of other people in the government were—they just couldn’t get him to do anything about it,” one official told the newspaper. “The system was blinking red.”
On 20 January, after two medical staff were infected in Guangdong, China National Health Commission confirmed that the virus was human-to-human transmissible. The investigation team from China’s National Health Commission confirmed for the first time that the coronavirus can be transmitted between humans.
Cases reported from Japan, Thailand and the US
China shares the genetic sequence of the virus and various countries start developing tests.
“We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. We have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.” — Trump in a CNBC interview.
World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, 36 countries imposed travel restrictions, including the U.S.
US puts in travel restrictions following WHO declaration. This was far from a ban as approximately 40 000 US Citizens were able to fly in from China. Research shows that travel restrictions have a limited effect and initially only, but it is possible that the restrictions managed to slow the spread, somewhat.
Li Wenliang was exonerated by the Chinese Supreme People’s Court and the local Wuhan police reprimanded.
Li Wenliang dies from Covid-19
WHO Situation report 35. It is now pretty clear that this will be worldwide.
“The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!” — Trump in a tweet.